LIHUE — Hawaii Children’s Theatre has awarded the 2016 Ethan Shell Memorial College Scholarships for Performing Arts to Sara Morimoto, Ethan Whatmore and Tirah Brings.
These scholarships, $1,000 each, are in memory of Ethan Bradford Shell, a young man who grew up on Kauai and participated in numerous HCT productions and programs. Ethan Shell had graduated from college in New York City, and was working in an off-Broadway play and as a model when he died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition in 2010 at age 21.
HCT and Ethan Shell’s parents, David and Poppy Shell, started the scholarship program to support first- or second-year students who will be majoring or minoring in performing arts. This is HCT’s seventh year to gift college tuition monies to Kauai’s talented youth.
Morimoto will be attending Western Washington University this fall and plans to major in electrical engineering and minor in theater. She has been in eight KPAC productions and five HCT productions. This summer she will be working as a primary teacher’s assistant for the Keiki AM Summer Stars Program.
Whatmore will also be attending Western Washington University. He will be majoring in dance and minoring in business with the hopes of one day running his own dance studio. He has been involved in various KPAC and HCT productions throughout his high school years.
“It’s amazing there’s a scholarship for those pursuing a higher education in the performing arts,” he said. “I hope the Ethan Shell Memorial Scholarship continues to help students pursue their passion for many years to come.”
Brings will soon be finishing her associate in arts at Kauai Community College and will then continue on at UH West Oahu to earn her bachelor’s degree in creative media. She is passionate about all forms of art, from sculpture to digital animation and musical theater.
“The wonderful people at HCT have helped me to overcome difficulties and achieve to my highest ability,” she said.